Report from Boston
As a receiver of a Graphene Flagship Mobility Grant, Santiago Cartamil Bueno from TU Delft has just completed a 7-week stay at Boston University, USA where he has worked in the Atomic Membrane laboratory of Professor Scott Bunch. Here is his short report of the experience.
About the work:
I brought my samples from Graphenea (single-layer and double-layer graphene on top of SiO2/Si cavities of different depths) and I filled them with pressurized gas (H2, N2, Ar, N2) up to 3 MPa. Then, the graphene balloons inflate and should delaminate from the substrate, although we haven’t managed because they leak too fast. Most of the work is done with AFM but also some Raman spectroscopy and laser interferometry.
About the experience:
I have learned that science can be fun, and good science doesn’t require much money but actually vision, ambition and a good understanding of the research field. Discussing with Scott and his students about graphene and other 2D materials is energizing and very productive. Communication flows in a natural way as we are all “2D scientists” - open to creative ideas, daring with crazy experiments, and willing to make the next breakthrough. Also, I have learned much about Boston. I lived before in USA (in San Diego, California) but Boston is super dynamic and everyone is excited to listen your experiences, give feedback, and share and help.
About receiving the Graphene Flagship Mobility Grant:
I am deeply happy and thankful for this experience. Despite the short duration of the stay, I have been able to adapt to and enjoy the rhythm of the city and the lab, to the point of having the feeling I’ve been living here for months. The Bunch group treated me like family from first day and they made me feel home. I wished I could have stayed longer!
Supervisor Herre van der Zant, TU Delft, leader of Graphene Flagship Work Package Sensors:
Santiago has been with one of the pioneering groups in graphene membrane technology. To see how they do things has for sure expanded his expertise and competence in graphene-based NEMS, which will be fruitful for us and the Graphene Flagship in as we are designing new experiments and devices.